Mainstream pop music's become so overly sexualized. Entertainers like Rihanna, Trey Songz, and Chris Brown present sex in a really cartoonish way, at times verging on pornographic.
Meanwhile, the underground seems to be maturing, bringing the real sexy back. Last night at Bardot, Kastle and Austin Paul brought the kind of sexy that makes you want to dance close to somebody, not just dry hump on a dance floor.
Kastle is heading up a new sexy movement with his label Symbols based in San Francisco, through which Miami's Austin Paul is releasing his first three EPs this summer. The world caught its first taste of Paul's six-track Velvet EP a few days ago, and the show at Bardot was kind of like the 20 year old's album release celebration.
Paul took the carpet (i.e. Bardot's stage) at about 12:20 a.m., and he stood singing into a microphone stand with his keyboard sitting next to him, should he need it. He was joined by two homies who fleshed out the music with live production and grooving bass guitar.
The young artist has a soulful sound, and midway through his second song, "Bones," some random girl came running up to talk to him. It was some weird sex symbol shit, but he kept singing through it. He was a man on a music mission.
Paul delivered a moving performance on the keys of "Hallelujah (I'm Alive)" and played through a few more before giving the floor back up to the DJ and making the rounds, talking with friends and fans. Meanwhile, Kastle was setting up in a very different way than he expected.
The talented tastemaker and Symbols label head was billed for a special live performance. He recently released a self-titled album full of sexy, future beats, and he was supposed to bring that heat. But unfortunately, travel mishaps left him without his equipment as he rushed to the venue from a diverted flight in Tampa.
He addressed the crowd, explaining that a DJ set would have to do. Thankfully, a DJ set from Kastle is no messy backup plan. He gave the crowd what it needed, some dank tunes to get them dancing close in the dark.
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He dropped a bunch of his own material from the new album. And he was even joined by Paul for a live rendition of their song, "Without You." Miami's rising star stood singing next to his mentor as they performed the song for together for the first time. People had their camera phones out for that one.
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Kastle kept the decks singing in his hands for about an hour, and then he called it a night as the crowd began to find its way home.
"Thank you for coming out," he said. "I'm sorry I couldn't do the live show. I have a couple more for you."
He delivered an awesome set, though he seemed to be a bit sad that it wasn't the live performance he promised. But honestly, we'd just consider that a good excuse to find time to come back.